Commission: A New Libretto for Mozart’s “The Impresario” to be staged by Temple University Opera.

I am excited to announce that Temple University’s opera program has commissioned me to draft a new libretto for Mozart’s The Impresario. A one act opera, the show concerns a bunch of divas trying to out-audition each other to gain entry into an opera company. It’s a boat load of fun and brand new territory for me, so there’s a lot of excitement around this project.

It is tradition that a new libretto be drafted for every major production of The Impresario, and it is a pleasure to add my voice into the mix.

Brandon McShaffrey will be the opera’s stage director and Valery Ryvkin its maestro. More details about the date, time, and tickets here.

Play Reading: On Golden Sands at the Pittsburgh New Works Festival This Weekend.

Somewhere... Beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me... My lover stands on golden sands and watches the ships that go sailing...On Golden Sands, my 10-minute play about love in the time of space exploration and plague, will be read this weekend as part of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival. Nate Newell of Split Stage will direct,  with Split Stage acting as the play’s producing partner.

What: On Golden Sands

When: Sunday, August 21st, 7PM.

Where: Carnegie Stage – 25 W. Main Street, Carnegie, PA, 15106.

Tickets: Here.

Facebook Event: Here.

New Play Reading: HOPLITES, on May 2nd.

A play set in a shack at the end of the world, replete with soldiers, sex robots, shiny buttons and impossible choices.

This play was drafted during the first year in my MFA program at Temple and is being presented in conjunction with Temple Theatres. The reading is free to the public.

When: May 2nd, 2016. 7PM.

Where: Randall Theatre (on 13th Street between Diamond and Norris)

Director: Claire Moyer.

Actors: A whole bunch of them, including Hannah Gold, Drew Carrol, David Pica, Colin O’Neill and Len Kelly. Full cast details are forthcoming.

And for the socially networked inclined, here’s the Facebook event.

There will be a talk back following the reading. Come on out, give it a listen, and toss some thoughts my way!


The Colonial Players of Annapolis names Mark J. Costello 2015’s Promising Playwright.

It is my honor to announce that The Colonial Players of Annapolis have named me as the 2015 winner of their Promising Playwright competition based on my play Kid Turboni Brings the Rain.

From Colonial Players’ email blast:

Colonial Players is happy to announce that the winner of the 2015 Promising Playwright Contest  is Mark J. Costello of Philadelphia, PA with his play Kid Turboni Brings the Rain. Mr. Costello was chosen from more than 130 entries submitted between September 1 and December 31, 2014. In addition to receiving a cash prize, Mr. Costello will participate in a workshop weekend with directors, actors, designers, and technicians from Colonial Players, culminating in a public rehearsed reading.  The workshop weekend will take place in July of 2015 at the theater at 108 East Street in Annapolis, Maryland.

It is an incredible honor and I cannot wait to work with the folks in Annapolis. Get excited for wonder and magic, Team Turboni!

Because, you know–America?

Call to Arms: PWYC performance of the Arden’s Macbeth funds the Foundry.

To say the Foundry has been very, very good to me would be an understatement. It has provided me with resources, support, mentorship, and a network of brilliant fellow artists, all geared toward helping my work become more honest and intricate. It is a three year residency, and I along with a few other playwrights am approaching the end of my third year.

We will be holding a bash this upcoming summer to send us old heads off with style and some staged readings, but that bash’s lavishness will be decided by your generosity.

The Arden Theatre Company has graciously allowed us to collect the proceeds from a Pay-What-You-Can performance of their upcoming production of Macbeth. Every penny you contribute that night funds a truly awesome cause and supports the development of new work right here in Philadelphia. I think that’s pretty nifty, and hope you do, too.


What: Pay-What-You-Can performance of Macbeth benefiting the Foundry.

When: March 4th, 2015: 8:00PM

Where: Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

RSVP here. Seriously. It’ll be fun.

Hope to see y’all there!

Commission: The White Mountains project, Act 2 Playhouse.

I am happy to announce that I have been commissioned to write a short work as part of the White Mountains project. Act 2 Playhouse in Ambler has collaborated with the Chemical Heritage Foundation and the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine to produce a night of short plays dealing with Ambler’s history as an asbestos mill town. Act 2 will present selections from their commissioned works the evening of April 25th at 8PM.

From Act 2’s website:

These exciting, entertaining, and thought-provoking new plays are inspired by oral histories, and written by some of Philadelphia’s top playwrights. They will be presented as “staged readings.”

Read more here.

Tickets will be sold for $5, and can be purchased via the link above.

Kid Turboni Brings the Win: Write Now 2015 Festival Finalists Announced.

It is an incredible honor to announce that Kid Turboni Brings the Rain has been named a finalist in the 2015 Write Now theatre for young audiences festival!

A joint venture between Childsplay and Indiana Rep, Write Now promotes the development of new work for young audiences. They will be providing me and three other playwrights with a week’s worth of rehearsal with professional actors, a director, a dramaturg, and an age-appropriate audience for useful feedback, all ending with a staged reading for conference attendees.

From Write Now’s Facebook page:

Proud to announce the four finalists for Write Now 2015.

Three Excellent Cows by Eric Appleton
Había Una Vez: Once Upon a Time by Kristen Boers
Kid Turboni Brings the Rain by Mark Costello
Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven by Reina Hardy

Early registration ends March 1st. Join us in celebrating some of the most exciting voices writing for young people.

The conference runs from May 3 – May 6 at Indiana Rep. If you’re in the neighborhood, swing on by, why don’t cha?

Get excited! More updates are coming soon!

Beyond Late Update: NPE, OMPF, and Debbie Harbin.

This update is later than the revelatory thoughts one has when trying to slip off to sleep at 3AM. Let’s go through events in reverse chronological order, for kicks.

Back in October, I joined the New Play Exchange to hock my playwrighterly wares. Check out my profile here: New Play Exchange. It’s a really cool resource with a lot of potential, and I’m glad to be part of it.

Back in August, the One Minute Play Festival returned to Philadelphia in collaboration with Interact Theatre and produced my one minute play Extended Run.

Since you’re presumably unable to travel back in time to see the show, you can view it here: Howl Round. Check out my particular piece at 1:02:00–though you should probably watch the whole thing, as it showcases the kind of brilliant work Philly’s brilliant playwrights produce.

Back in June (good lord, could I be any more late?), playwright extraordinaire Debbie Harbin wrote a short piece on Kid Turboni Brings the Rain:

Do you know that feeling when a play – or other work of art – just gets you in the sweet spot?  It’s not that it wrecks you, or that it opens up new worlds of never-before-conceived thought or anything like that; it’s just a play that makes you go “Yesssss.”  It’s a play that makes you go “Mmmm,” like an ice cream cone might make you go “Mmmm.”  That was my experience today as I read Kid Turboni Brings the Rain by talented playwright Mark Costello.

Read the rest here: 90 Days, 90 Plays.

That’s it for now. Look out for more updates, hopefully sooner than 8 months from now!

March 31st: Reuben’s Kitchen.

I’m honored to announce my play Hush will be presented as part of Reuben’s Kitchen, an event established to foster a sense of creative community around the memory of Reuben Mitchell. Reuben was more than well-loved, and celebrating our community is exactly what he’d be about.

What: Reuben’s Kitchen.

When: March 31st, 7PM.

Where: Christ Church Neighborhood House (20 North American Street, 19106).

Notes: Bring food! Bring art! Bring yourself, and join our community!

It is asked that you bring picnic food and a picnic blanket, and especially a dessert as that’ll the focal point of some discussion and schmoozing. Hope to see you there!

PHIT Presents: Vesuvius, by Yours Truly.

I’ve just learned that something pretty cool will be going down next month: Philly Improv Theatre runs a Page One series where playwrights write a page that they then expand through their improv performance. My one-page’r Vesuvius will be presented in this series. Details:

What: Vesuvius, presented by Philly Improv Theatre.

When: March 8th, 2014 (a Saturday).

Where: PHIT – 2030 Sansom Street, 19103.

Tickets here.

Come on out and have a blast! Get it? Vesuvius–blast–right?